US 2992798 A
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July 18, 1961 J. B. SMITH ET AL SURVIVAL KITS FOR FLIGHT PERSONNEL 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 8, 1957 p Mi fi W 1 4 m B. 4 W
y 1961 J. B. SMITH ETAL SURVIVAL KITS FOR FLIGHT PERSONNEL 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 8, 1957 July 18, 1961 B, SMITH ETAL 2,992,798
SURVIVAL KITS FOR FLIGHT PERSONNEL Filed July 8, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR.
56 B, SMITH a 'Omv 4'. 64,1029
nitecl States This invention relates to improvements in so called survival kits for flight personnel, and particularly of the type of survival kits which are adapted to be attached to the garment or parachute of such personnel so that when he is ejected or escapes from an airplane at high speed, the kit is in position to be released at a convenient time and actuate and provide for the various devices necessary for the survival in a parachute descent from an aircraft.
Kits of this type have been furnished in the past mostly in bundles or packages and they were hung on the straps of the parachute which in turn was secured to the aviator or flight personnel whenever in his seat. In such survival kit usually there is provided an oxygen tank and a device whereby the contents of that tank can be connected with a breathing mask, or the like, and also for the inflation of a flight suit so as to provide compensating pressure at high altitudes. In addition such kits usually include an inflatable rubber boat or raft and a gas under high pressure in a tank which can be connected to such raft to inflate the same while the person is still in the air so that he can be lowered into the escape raft or boat. There are other and various devices necessary for survival suitably packed in such kit.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a rigid box like container of such dimensions that it can fit in the seat of flight personnel under a usual seat cushion; the rigid kit case including an integral oxygen tank connectable to the breathing mask of the pilot as Well as the inflatable boat or raft and the compressed gas container for its inflation; the rigid case has a rigid cover; and connecting devices between said cover and case and between the case and the parachute releasable quickly and easily and automatically upon escape.
The features of the invention include: a rigid case with a rigid lid thereon, the rigid case being adapted to accommodate the elements which are necessary in the usual survival kit and which are also connected by a quickly and easily releasable connection with the lid; means to release such connections only upon a predetermined pull; means being provided to connect the lid to the parachute by a lanyard in such a manner that the entire unit with the lid on the same is supported at a predetermined distance below the person when he is suspended on his parachute, and the said releasable connection being such that it resists normal pull upon the lid; additional locking device is being provided for releasably supporting the rigid case upon the hanging straps connected to the parachute of the personnel; means are provided whereby the release of such support can be quickly and rapidly accomplished; a secondary set of lanyards being provided within the casing and held by the lid so as to support the casing at a predetermined distance below the lid when the same are separated from one another; and manipulating means are provided in a predetermined position in a recess of the rigid case so as to be easily gripped to release the respective connections at will.
We are aware that some changes may be made in the general arrangements and combinations of the several devices and parts, as well as in the details of the construction thereof without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the following specification, and as defined in the following claims; hence we do not limit our invention to the exact arrangements and combinations of the said device and parts as described atent C in the said specification, nor do we confine ourselves to the exact details of the construction of the said parts as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, which will be made manifest in the following detailed description, reference is had to the accompanying drawings for the illustrative embodiment of the invention, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side view of our survival kit assembly in the rigid case.
FIG. 2 is a partly fragmental development view of the separable sections of the kit.
FIG. 3 is a fragmental partly sectional view of a corner of the casing and cover showing a catch detached from a keeper.
FIG. 4 is a fragmental partly sectional view of said corner of the casing and cover showing said catch and keeper in side view.
FIG. 5 is a side view of a strap plug and keeper engaged, and
FIG. 6 is a side view of said strap plug and keeper disengaged.
The salient parts of the invention herein include a rigid generally rectangular casing 1 on which is provided a rigid detachable lid 2. Along one side of the casing 1 is a tank 3 of rigid material as part of the casing, which tank 3 contains oxygen bottles and has suitable valved connections 4 to the usual mask and garments of aircraft personnel. Suitable releasing cord is provided to actuate the valve of the oxygen tank upon the escape of the person from the aircraft.
The rigid casing 1 is provided on another side thereof with a bracket 7 to hold a compressed air tank 8 connected by a suitable line to an inflatable boat or raft 1'1, stored Within the casing. Under the raft 11 is suitably secured a suitable bag or the like for the usual necessities in a survival kit.
inside of each of the four corners of the case is a suitable keeper 17 to engage and hold a catch 18 on the lid 2 frictionally with a predetermined holding force. Each keeper 17 includes a flat hollow casing fixed to the inside of the rigid casing and open at the top. A pair of holding levers 19 are pivoted intermediate their ends transversely of the casing. Each of the levers 19 has in its lower end a socket 21 and in the opposite sockets 21 is a coil spring 22 under compression so as to normally urge the lower ends of the levers apart and thereby urge the top ends of the levers toward one another. The top ends of the levers 19 have a curved protuberance 23 and depression 24 therein generally to correspond to the dovetail outline of the latch 18 projecting from the lid 2. This catch 18 is supported in position by a flange 27 attached to the side of the lid in alignment with and above the aforementioned catch 18. The catch 18 can be pressed in position and held resiliently between the levers 19 so as to be released only when the pull is sufficient to overcome the strength of the compression spring 22 and the friction between it and the corresponding recesses 24 of the levers 19 whereby the catch 18 is held until the predetermined force is applied to pull it out of the keeper 17.
In order to enable the manual freeing of the lid from the casing at will a cam 31 generally rectangular crosssection is provided on a cross shaft 32 which extends outwardly and is engageable by any suitable key or plier, or by coin or other element in an outside slot 33 thereof so as to turn the cam 31 and thus pry the levers 19 apart and release the catch 18 from the keeper 17. This is important because it is essential for the saving of the life of a person that the lid 2 be separated from the casing 1 at a desired altitude and thereby permit the inflation of the light raft in time for descent.
The kit is connected to and suspended from the usual parachute harness worn by flight personnel, for instance,
the type shown in United States Patent No. 2,726,832, issued on December 13, 1955 to E. A. Gimalouski et al. The releasable connection to the strap of the parachute harness includes a pair of keepers on the outside of the rigid casing. Depressions or recesses 34.0n ,the opposite sides of the casing 1 accommodate keepers 36 and on one side the recess 34 also accommodates a manual releasing device 35, within the outline of the casing l and lid 2. Thus the unit fits into the usual seat in the aircraft :beneath the person, yet it has maximum capacity and facility of manipulation.
As an illustrative embodiment herein in FIG. each keeper 36 includes a casing 37 mounted iflat in the adjacent recess 34. A disc 38 is journalled on a pin 39in the casing 37 so that the disc 38 is parallel with and along the :back wall 41 of the casing 37. A dog .42 is pivoted near the top of the casing 37 on a pin 43 and extends downwardly with its bent end engaging byrneans of an elongated slot 44 a pull pin 46 on the disc 38 above the-journal pin 39 of the disc 38. Another or opposite dog 47 is similarly pivoted at its top on the opposite top corner of the casing and has its bent end engaged by means of a similar elongated slot with a lower pull pin 48 below the center of the disc 38.
A flat and tapered plug 51 extends through a tapered aperture 52 into the top of the casing 37. The opposite edges of the plug 51 have opposite indents 53. From each dog 42 and 47 projects a prong or tooth 54 into engagement with the respective indents 53 to hold the plug 51 in place in the casing 37.
A coil spring 56 is anchored at an end thereof to the housing wall 41 and at its other end on an ear 57 on the lower periphery of the disc 38 so as to exert normally a pull in clockwise direction viewing FIG. 5, and thereby normally pulling the dogs 42 and 47 toward one another into plug engaging position.
A flexible line 58 extends generally tangentially from the lower portion of the disc 38 laterally through a vertical side 59 of the casing 37. The line 58 is suitably anchored to said lower portion of the disc 38 so that when the line 58 is pulled, it turns the disc 38 in a contra-clockwise direction viewing FIG. 5. As the line 58 is thus pulled, the dogs 42 and 47 are pulled apart so that their teeth 54 disengage from theindents 53 and release the plug'51.
A coil spring 61 in a socket 62 in the bottom of the plug 51 bears against a fixed abutment 63 above the disc 38 so that the spring 61 urges the plug 51 out of the keeper 36 so as to accelerate its release.
The top of the plug 51 is provided with the usual clasp 164 to which is suitably secured a suspending strap 66 connected to the parachute or to the person Wearing the device.
Various devices may be employed for the purpose of releasing the entire casing pack from the parachute strap 66. In the present illustration a manually operated device 35, not shown in detail, is nested in the adjacent recess 34 on the outside of the rigid casing. From the housing 68 of the device 35 extend several flexible lines or cables 58 for the actuation of the respective devices such as the valve in inflating gas tank, the valve of the oxygen tank and whatever other devices have to be actuated after the pilot reached a certain minimum altitude. As the flexible lines 58 are pulled they release the plugs 51 as hereinbofer described. Thus the casing drops away from the person whenever he pulls the handle 68. Thus at the predetermined altitude the connection between the plug 51 of the straps 66 and the keepers 36 can be released, and then the casing drops downwardly.
A lanyard 71 is attached to one of the clasps 64 and is suitably folded on the lid 2 so as to unfold as the casing 1 drops. The other end of this lanyard 71 is secured to the lid 2 so that after the length of this lanyard 71 is .played .out fully it jerks thelid 2 ed the casing 11. The
4 sudden pull thus exerted by this lanyard 71 is suficient to compress the springs 22 and release the catches 27 and free the casing 1 from the lid 2.
Then the casing 1 drops away and unfolds a second lanyard 72, one end of which is held on the lid 2, and folded on the raft 11 and has its other end attached to the casing '1. As this second lanyard 72 unfolds it releases the raft 11 and suspends it with the casing 1 at a predetermined distance beneath'the lid.
The devices hereindescribed render the release operation positive and foolproof and assure the suspension of the items of the kit in suitable positions for the safe descent and survival of flight personnel.
1. In a survival kit for connection to a harness worn by airflight personnel, in combination a rigid casing, a rigid lid on the casing, said casing and lid having an outline fitting in the usual seat of flight personnel in flight, said casing having recesses on opposite sides thereof; a keeper device in each recess, a plug insertable in said keeper device, releasable means in said keeper device to hold said plug therein, connecting elements extended from said plugs for suspending said plugs and said kit from said harness, manipulable means in one of said recesses connected to said keeper devices for releasing said plugs at will, and a suspending element extended from the kit for suspending the released kit from said harness at apredetermined distance beneath the flight personnel after said plugs are released from said keepers.
2. In a survival kit for connection to a harness worn by airflight personnel, incombinatiou a rigid casing, a rigid lid on the casing, said casing and lid having an outline fitting in the usual seat of flight personnel in flight, said casing having recesses on opposite sides thereof; a keeper device in each recess, a pluginsertable in said keeper device, releasable means in said keeper device to hold said plug therein, connecting elements extended from said plugs for suspending said plugs and said kit from said harness, manipulable means in one of said recesses connected to saidkeeper devices for releasing said plugs at will, coacting connecting elements on said lid and on said casing being releasable at a predetermined pull on the lid, a line connecting said lid to said harness so as to permit the dropping of said casing and lid together to a predetermined distance after said plugs are released, said line at said distance pulling said connecting elements apartso as to separate said lid from said casing, and another line connecting said lid to said casing to suspend said casing at a distance beneath said lid.
3. In a survival kit for connection to a harness Worn by airflight personnel, in combination a rigid casing, a rigid lid on the casing, said casing and lid havin an outline fitting in the usual seat of flight personnel in flight, said casing having recesses on opposite sides thereof; a keeper device in each recess, a plug insertable in-said keeper device, releasable means in said keeper device to hold said plug therein, connecting elements extended from said plugs for suspending said plugs and said kit from said harness, manipulable means in one of said recesses connected to said keeper devices for releasing saidplugs at will, and a suspending element extended from the kit for suspending the released kit from said harness at a predetermined distance beneath the flight personnel after said plugs are released from said keepers, an integral tank formed along a side of the casing adapted to containa gaseous substance needed for survival of flight personnel.
4. In a survival kit for connection to a harness worn by airflight personnel, incombination a rigidcasing, a rigid lid on the casing, said casing and lid having-anoutline fitting in the usual seat of flight personnel in flight, said casing having recesses .onopposite sides thereof; a-keeper device in each recess, a plug insertablein said kefiper device, releasable meansin'said keeper device to hold said plugs for suspending said plugs and said kit from said harness, manipulable means in one of said recesses connected to said keeper devices for releasing said plugs at will, coacting connecting elements on said lid and on said casing being releasable at a predetermined pull on the lid, a line connecting said lid to said harness so as to permit the dropping of said casing and lid together to a predetermined distance after said plugs are released, said line at said distance pulling said connecting elements apart so as to separate said lid from said casing, and another line connecting said lid to said casing to suspend said casing at a distance beneath said lid, and coacting means between each plug and its keeper device to accelerate the ejection of the plug from the keeper device when released.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Harrigan Apr. 19, 1938 Manson Dec. 2, 1941 Patten Jan. 2, 1945 Sullivan Feb. 15, 1949 Kajdan Apr. 12, 1949 Horning Feb. 14, 1950 Gimalouski et 3J1 Dec. 13, 1955 Gaylord Aug. 13, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Aug. 5, 1953 Great Britain Apr. 17, 1957